Friday, 21 December 2018

Swami Vivekananda on Aryan Invasion Theory

Historical finding have raised controversies and have got rectified, thanks to the continuous research. The acceptance of the theory that the numerals 1 to 9 and 0 (zero) are Indian, in origin is one example. The theory of the Aryan invasion of India, though has become cliché to the readers of Indian history, is much in debate. Yet the truth seems to be bypassed. The following excerpts taken from the speech of Swami Vivekananda  “The Future of India” throws some light on this controversy.

There is a theory that there was a race of humans in Southern India called Dravidians, entirely differing from another race in Northern India called the Aryan, and that the Southern India Brahmins are the only Aryans that came from the North, the other men of Southern India belong to an entirely different caste and race to those of Southern Brahmins. Now I beg your pardon, Mr. Philologist, this is entirely unfounded. The only proof of it is that there is a difference of language between the North and the South. I do not see any other difference. We are so many Northern men here, and I ask my European friends to pick out the Northern and Southern men from this assembly. Where is the difference? A little difference of language. But the Brahmins are a race that came here speaking the Sanskrit language!  Well then, they took up the Dravidian language and forgot their Sanskrit. Why should not the other castes have done the same? Why should not all the other castes have come one after the other from Northern India, taken up the Dravidian language, and so forgotten their own? That is an argument working both ways. Do not believe in such silly things. There may have been a Dravidian people who vanished from here, and the few who remained lived in forests and other places. It is quite possible that the languages may have been taken up, but all these are Aryans who came from the North. The whole of the India is Aryan, nothing else.

Then there is the idea that the Shudra castes are surely the aborigines. What are they? There are slaves. They say history repeats itself. The Americans, English, Dutch and the Portuguese got hold of the poor Africans and made them work hard while they lived, and their children of mixed birth were born in slavery and kept in that condition for a long period. From that wonderful example, the mind jumps back several thousand years and fancies that the same thing happened here, and our archaeologist dreams of India being full of dark eyed aborigines, and the bright Aryan came from the Lord knows where. According to some, they came from Central Tibet, others will have it that they came from Central Asia. There are patriotic Englishmen who think that the Aryans were all red-haired. Others, according to their idea, think that they were all black-haired. If the writer happens to be a black-haired man, the Aryans were all black-haired. Of late, there was an attempt made to prove that the Aryan lived on the Swiss lakes. I should not be sorry if they had been all drowned there, theory and all.

Some say now that they lived at the North Pole. Lord bless the Aryans and their habitations! As for the truth of these theories, there is not one world in our scriptures, not one, to prove that the Aryan ever came from anywhere outside of India, and in ancient India was included Afghanistan. There it ends. And the theory that the Shudra castes were all non-Aryan and they were a multitude, is equally illogical and equally irrational. It could not have been possible in those days that a few Aryans settled and lived there with a hundred thousand slaves at their command. These slaves would have eaten them up, made “Chutney” of them in five minutes. The only explanation is to be found in the Mahabharata, which says that in the beginning of the Satya Yuga there was one caste, the Brahmins, and then by difference of occupations they went on dividing themselves into different castes, and that is the only true and rational explanation that has been given. And in the coming Satya Yuga all the other castes will have to go back to the same condition.  

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Strange New Year Traditions:
*In India and other places a giant old man made of hay, etc and dressed in old shirt and pant is burnt at the stroke of midnight, signifying the end of the old year and the beginning of the New Year.
*In Bolivia, Venezuela, men wear new underpants on New Year’s eve – red underpants for love and yellow for money.
*Spaniards eat 12 grapes at midnight; each grape symbolizing one month of year.
*The Filipinos wear polka dots and arrange round fruits on the dinner table. Polka and all things round signify coins, hence prosperity.
*In Scotland, the townsmen walk around with giant fireballs hoisted on long poles (resembling the sun) to purify the coming year.
* The Danes break glass dishes on the doors of neighbours and friends.
*Estonians eat seven times on the first day of the year to ensure abundant food throughout the year.
*Unmarried Irish girls place mistletoe leaves under the pillow to catch a good husband.
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Konkan region in the west coast of Maharastra during monsoon
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Monday, 13 August 2018

Bappanadu Durga Parameshwari Temple





The temple has a history of over 800 years. Bappanadu simply means 'Bappa's village'. It is believed that, Bappa Beary, a Muslim merchant was responsible for the construction of Goddess Durga Parameshwari temple here. Since then the place is known as 'Bappanadu' and the first honorary prasadam of the annual rath festival is offered to the successors of Bappa Beary family every year.

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Sri Durga Parameshwari Temple at Bappanadu is one of the important seats of Shakti worship in Dakshina Kannada district. Here the main deity is in the form of Linga (symbolic statue). Bappanadu Durga Parameshwari temple has been regarded as a symbol of communal harmony as devotees from all faiths visit to offer prayers here.


Bappanadu's Dolu (musical drum) is well known and a large drum can be found in the temple premises. During annual rath yatra festival, the members of the community are allowed to participate in beating of the drums which is done with great enthusiasm and devotion. This festival comes in the day of Meena Masa Shuddha Chathurdhashi and celebrated for eight days with an unique feature on each day.

Location: This temple is situated on the banks of river Shambhavi at Bappanadu village in Mulki town. The main deity of this temple is Goddess Shree Durga Parameshwari. As per the legend Bappa a Muslim merchant had built the temple. Annual festival (Brahma Rathotsava) of the temple falls in the month of April. It is located close to the highway on the way to Udupi.



Mythology: As per the folklore, there was a demon called Darigasura ruling Shonitapura. He had an enmity with Devatas and Lord Vishnu. Antagonised and with the intention of defeating the Devatas and Lord Vishnu, he worshipped Lord Brahma and received a boon. And with the help of this boon he defeated Devatas and Lord Vishnu, and snatched the weapons from Lord Vishnu and handed over it to his wife, and told her to keep it safely in their place of worship. While Lord Vishnu was mourning the loss and for his lost weapons, Goddess Durgaparameshwari appeared before him in the form of seven women, Sapta-Durgas and promised to kill the demon. These Sapta-Durgas went to Shonitapura accompanied by a deity called Guliga. Bhagavathi one of the Sapta-Durgas appeared before demon Darigasura while he was on the way to take a bath in the river; in a disguised form of a poor old woman, and begged for a meal. Darigasura suggested her to go to the palace and ask for a meal from his wife. And also told her to inform him, if she isn't given a meal there. Accordingly Goddess Bhagavathi visits the palace of Darigasura and meets his wife, but instead asks for the weapons of Lord Vishnu to be returned. The wife of Darigasura refuses to return the weapon as her husband had instructed her to keep in safe custody. However as told, Bhagavathi informs Darigasura about her refusal, but doesn't mention about the weapons and, that his wife is not willing to give her a meal.


Hearing this Darigasura instructs his wife to give Bhagavathi whatever she wished. Darigasura's wife gives her the weapons of Lord Vishnu without further enquiry. Later realizing that he was deceived by Goddess Bhagavathi,  Darigasura gets furious and decides to challenge the Sapta-Durgas and attacks them. He defeats deity Guliga in a fight. But after seven days of furious fighting Darigasura is defeated by Sapta-Durgas and ultimately he flees and seeks refuge in  the underworld.

Goddess Bhagavathi taking the form of Bhadra-Kali begins to search for him. As Darigasura arrives to perform pooja to Lord Shiva in the late evening, Bhadra-Kali finds him and slays him. Bhagavathi then accompanied by her other sister goddesses and deity Guliga, visit Lord Vishnu and request for a boat made of sandalwood for a journey from Vaikunta (heaven) to Bhooloka (earth) with an intention of settling down in Bhooloka for betterment of earthly people. 

Lord Vishnu permits them to take a sandalwood tree from Vaikunta for preparing a boat. Accordingly they make a boat and commence their journey. The boat reaches Bhooloka and crosses Kasaragod, Kumble, Uppala, Pattattur, Manjeshwara, Udyavara, Ullala and Kudroli in the coastal region, close to present day Mangaluru in Karnataka. From there they arrive at Sasihithlu near Mulki town. Here, Bhagavathi accepts a tender coconut from a devotee, and wishes to settle there. Goddess Durgaparameshwari emerged symbolically in confluence of two rivers, Shambhavi and Nandini at Mulki border.


In due course, a Muslim merchant, Bappa Beary while sailing through Shambhavi river with an intention of trading in remote places; his boat suddenly stops in the middle of the river. While examining the cause of stoppage, he finds blood floating on the surface of the river and he fears for the worst. He is worried and suddenly he hears a divine voice ordering him  to construct a temple with the help of Mulki Sawantha (king) and to conduct regular pooja with the help of Baila Udupa ( local priest). Mulki Sawantha was a Jain and a good ruler. Hearing about the incident and the divine command, from Bappa Beary, the king agrees and builds a temple with the contribution of many other donors and makes Baila Udupa as the chief priest of the temple. Hence the temple came to be known as Bappanadu Kshetra.

The temple has the features of 14th century architectural style in the main sanctum, pedestal etc. In 1333-35 AD, an African traveller Vilban Batoota who visited India wrote that some of the Muslims in the region (Mangalore and Mallika town) were following Hindu traditions. But the region he mentioned  cannot be confirmed with Mulki, as there is a vast difference in geographical features described by him.


As believed by the locals, Bappa a Muslim merchant had played an important role in the construction of the temple. But no evidence confirming the role of the Bappa Beary in the construction of the temple is documented or available. Whether Bappa was a Muslim or he was a Bapa Pai (a Saraswath Brahmin) or he was a follower of Jain faith is still a subject of research. The name Bappa also appears in one copper plate inscription (1607 AD) available in Kotageri Jain Basadi in which it is said " Moose Kavi son-in-law offered Varaha 113 on this Kunhappagu to Bappa ". 

However, we can assume that Muslims have a major role in this temple activity as it is mentioned in one recently found inscription of Hanjaman (Association of Muslim merchants). Also there are two inscriptions on either side of the temple. Though one is completely damaged, another inscription is pertaining to the era of 1411 AD and is belongs to Tedi. While verifying the words mentioned in this inscription, we can strongly presume that in the history of temple many non-Brahmins also participated in the activity of the temple.



Bappanadu Dolu (Drum): 
Beating of the drums during annual festival of the temple is an important part of the celebration. Bappanadu Dolu is well known all over Karnataka. One can't compare these drums with other drums of temples elsewhere in Karnataka. Beating of the drums when local rulers and landlords are visiting the temple during festivals is an age-old tradition. During annual festival a certain group of people of the community are given the task to participate in beating of the drums.  This is considered as a service to the deity and the persons play the drum with great enthusiasm and devotion. 


Temple authorities pay a certain amount of honorarium to these drum beaters. It's a beautiful sight, of this drum beating being performed by the beaters accompanied by their family members and community. As a symbol of the of the drums, temple authorities have made a big size drum and hanged it near the main entrance.

Annual Festival occasions:
1. Dwajarohana (Holy Flag hoisting) - on the day of Meena Masa Shuddha Chathurdhashi.
2. Bali Utsava & Ayana Deepotsava - Second day
3. Pete Sawari - Third day
4. Koppala Sawari - Fourth day
5. Bakimaru Deepotsava - Fifth day
6. Kere Deepotsava - Sixth day
7. Morning Car Festival, Night Chandra Mandala, Shayanotsava - Seventh day
8. Kawata Inauguration, Night rather festival - Eight day

How to reach temple:
From Mangalore there are plenty of buses and taxis available for Mulki and Udupi. The distance between 
Mangalore to Bappanadu is about 29 km. Since the temple is situated near the Udupi Mangalore Highway, it is very convenient for devotees and tourists to reach the temple by taking the buses or taxis and getting down at Mulki or Bappanadu. 

Also read: *Kateel Durga Parameshwari Temple

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New Year celebration? 

Do you know about the new year celebration? The first recorded New Year's celebration dates back 4,000 years to Babylon, when the first moon after the spring equinox marked a new year. In 46 BC, Julius Caesar created a calendar with Jan 1 as the first day of the year, partly to honour Janus, the month's namesake. Since then 1 January is celebrated as the new year day.

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Picture Post:
Chettinad Palace, Chettinad, Tamilnadu
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Bharata, My Brother
by Anil Kumar Naik

- Foreword by Shri Asaranna Swami,
Durga Parmeshwari temple, Kateel, Karnataka.

Price: Rs 200 + P&F Rs 50 (India)





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Friday, 1 June 2018

Mangalore – another tragedy in May



Pre-monsoon lashes Mangalore and Udupi through Tuesday, 29 May and left large areas marooned. Nine hours of rain from 9 am brought the city to its knees. Mangaloreans said, they haven't seen such heavy downpour and gusty winds throwing off everything on it's path. This is the first times they have witnessed such massive flooding.

Another tragedy though of a different kind reminded us of another major tragedy that happened on 22 May 2010. The Air India Express 812 crash at Mangalore airport, which overshot the runaway, while landing, killing 158 people on board. People who lost their loved ones are still in grief after seeing the aircraft land and perish right in front of their eyes.


A couple of days ago towards end of May, Mangalore witnessed a catastrophe, very wet and strong windy day bringing the city and surrounding areas to a standstill. Mangalore was hit by pre-monsoon downpour for nine hours with over 270mm of rainfall perhaps highest recorded in the past few decades in a single day. 

Mangalore and Udupi faced the brunt of the cyclone, with unprecedented flooding and damage to life and property. Luckily there was no major loss of lives barring three deaths, due to drowning in the swollen waters or due the falling of walls and roofs. Innocent lives were lost in the rains.

This tragedy though of a different kind reminded us of another major tragedy that happened on 22 May 2010. The Air India Express 812 crash at Mangalore airport, which overshot the runaway, while landing, killing 158 people on board. The aircraft was a 3 year old 737-800 (VT-AXV).

As per the findings, Air India 737-800 was on its way from Dubai to Mangalore. On board were 160 passengers alongwith 6 crew members. Captaining this flight was Capt Zlatko Glusica with over 10,000 hours of flying experience. With him was the First Officer Harbinder Singh Aluwalia from Mumbai.

The flight decended and was given Vectoes for ILS24 approach. As they decended, the weather at Mangalore deterioted, reduced visibility. The Captain had been sleeping during the decent. The First Officer woke him up for the approach and landing. The aircraft was flying above the normal path, about 2,000 feet high. The Captain ignoring the First Officier’s request to abort landing, prepared to land. The Captain put the aircraft into a nose dive, putting all on board in grave danger. They were decending too fast while the First Officier insisted the Captain to go around, but again ignored him. They were decending too fast towards the runaway. The touchdown was so hard, that the gears burst as they landed. There was no way to stop the plane. And it plunged downhill and burst into flames killing 158 people.

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Very few people are aware about this fact.
The Bible was Sir Isaac Newton’s greatest passion – he wrote more about religion than about science and mathematics! Indeed, Newton calculated the date of crucifixion of Jesus Christ as April 3, AD33 and the earliest date of Apocalypse as 2060 AD. Newton’s prediction that the Jews would return to Israel came true. Newton was obsessed with trying to find hidden meanings in the Bible. He learnt Hebrew, spent half his life, and devoted much more time to this pursuit than to science.
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Picture Post:
Sun Temple at Modhera, Gujarat
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Sunday, 11 March 2018

Top Rich – Honey, people with big money!


 

The world now holds more than 2,200 billionaires with a combined fortune of $9.1 trillion, up 18 per cent from a year ago, according to Forbes. And Bezos’ success story along with Amazon  is astonishing and record-breaking.....

Top rich list makes an interesting reading this year. A surprise new entry, Jeff Bezos’ wealth surpasses 100 billion to top the rich list. A 59 per cent spike in Amazon stock helped its founder overtake Bill Gates, Warren Buffet in the Forbes ranking worldwide. His rise is all the more surprising. Jeff Bezos and the Rise of Amazon.com is a book by Richard L Brandt. It describes the history of Jeff Bezos and the founding of Amazon.com journey from the beginning. Amazon's business model is simple. Making online shopping so easy and convenient that customers won't think twice.

Mukesh Ambani
In India, Mukesh Ambani keeps his standing as the richest Indian in 2018, with assets of $40.1 billion. He moved up to 19th global rank up from 33rd ($23.2 billion) last year. India now has 121 billionaires – 19 more than last year, making them the third largest group of the ultra-rich after those from the US and China. Software entrepreneur Azim Premji moved to the second spot in 2018, passing Lakshmi Mittal, the international steel tycoon. Premji moved up from the 72nd global spot in 2017 with $14.9 billion, to the 58th rank with $18.8 billion this year.

US President Donald Trump’s fortune sank during his first year in office despite surging stock market. Bezos’ success story revealed in the recent release of Forbes’ closely watched list, underscore the growing clout of both Bezos and the company that he founded in 1994 as an online bookstore.

The world now holds more than 2,200 billionaires with a combined fortune of $9.1 trillion, up 18 per cent from a year ago, according to Forbes. And Bezos’ success story along with Amazon  is astonishing and record-breaking.

Bill Gates
Bezos seized the ranking for the first time and has added the distinction of becoming the first person to break the $100 billion barrier since Forbes began compiling its list in 1987. As of February 9, Bezos wealth stood at $112 billion, up from about $73 billion last year. Most of Bezos’ fortune is tied up in Amazon stock, which soared 59 per cent during the period.

Warren Buffet

Amazon has expanded beyond its book selling origin to become a retailer of almost everything. It even sells groceries in stores after its $13.7 billion purchase of whole foods. More recently, it branched into healthcare in partnership involving Berkshire Hathway and its CEO, Warren Buffet, whose $84 billion fortune ranks third on the Forbes list.

Bill Gates, Microsoft’s co-founder ranks second on the Forbes list with wealth of $90 billion. Though Donald Trump is part of the elite group, he saw his fortune sink by about $400 million to 3.1 billion during his first year in office. The decline left him as the world’s 766th richest person, more than 200 places lower than his 544th spot on the last year’s list.

Both Bill Gates, 62 and Warren Buffet, 87 have committed to giving away most of their wealth while Bezos, 54 hasn’t said anything about his philanthropic plans. May come out with it sometime later.

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Hornbill Festival: 
Hornbill festival is held in Nagaland during December. The festival is packed with plenty of folk performances and rock shows by local artistes. It's also dubbed as the Festival of Festivals. It's a ten days event where various tribes of Nagaland come together to celebrate their colourful and rich culture. If you're a music lover, then the Hornbill International Rock Contest hosted every year featuring up-and-coming bands across the country. It also showcases the rich traditions of Nagaland across various local tribes.
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Waterfall at its best
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Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Kateel Durga Parameshwari Temple




South Kanara and Mangalore are known for beautiful and ancient temples. And Kateel Durga Parmeshwari temple is one of the popular temples.The holy temple is situated on an islet in the middle of the sacred river Nandini amidst panoramic scenes and fascinating greenery. Devotees and followers from all over the world come to Kateel every year in huge numbers to participate in Simhamaasa, Navarathri and other holy festivals and special occasions. Several educational institutions are also run through the temple's trust....  

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Shree Kateel Durga Parameshwari Temple in Kateel (in Tulu) or Kateelu (in Kannada), is a temple town in Dakshina Kannada or South Kanara district of Karnataka, India. Kateel is located 30km north of Mangalore. Travelling to Kateel through the winding roads amidst green hills and valleys is a very pleasant and memorable experience. Thousands of devotees visit Kateel daily to seek the blessing of deity, goddess Durga. 

This picturesque temple abode of goddess Durga Parameshwari located on the banks of river Nandini, a place known for its serene nature and beautiful surroundings. The sacred temple of Mata Durga Parameshwari is located in the middle of the river Nandini. This holy place attracts thousands of devotees from all over. During rainy season, the river Nandini flows in full force. The natural surroundings around the temple in full bloom and greenery are a real treat to admire during this period. Pilgrims who visit the temple during the season love the scenic beauty and divine atmosphere in the temple vicinity.

The holy temple is situated on an islet in the middle of the sacred river Nandini amidst panoramic scenes and fascinating greenery. Devotees and followers from all over the world come to Kateel every year in huge numbers to participate in Simhamaasa, Navarathri and other holy festivals and special occasions. Several educational institutions are also run through the temple's trust. 

The temple's trust also encourages several forms of arts. Notable among them is the Yakshagana Dashavathara Mela which was started as an offering to the goddess. During Dussera, Navaratri and other annual celebrations several sacred rituals like, Chandika havana, Thula bhaara, Veda parayana, Hari kathas are performed to appease the goddess.


History
When goddess slew Shumbha and Nishumbha, Arunasura, one of the ministers, had fled from the battlefield and saved his life. Later he became the leader of the Rakshasas (demons). He began to disturb the sages and destruct their Yajnas. As a result, the Devas stopped the rain, which resulted in total draught and scarcity of water and foodgrains on the earth. Moved by the pathetic conditions of the people Maharishi Jabali, the great sage decided to perform a Yajna to appease the Devas. He approached Devendra and requested him to send Kamadhenu (a sacred cow) with him for the ritual. Since Kamadhenu had been to Varuna Loka, Devendra permitted the sage to take Nandini, the daughter of Kamadhenu in order to assist him as Homadhenu (symbolic cow for ritual) in his proposed Yajna. Jabali went to Nandini and put forth his request. In reply Nandini abused the earth and the people there, and refused to accompany him. When the sage found that Nandini was firm in her refusal, he cursed her to flow as a river on the earth. As Nandini prayed Jabali for mercy, kind hearted sage advised her to pray Adhishakti to get freed from the curse. Accordingly she prayed Adhishakti. Pleased by her deep meditation the goddess appeared before Nandini and told her that she has to flow as a river as the result of the curse, as nobody could trespass the words (Rishi vakya) of a holy sage. But she added, ‘I shall take birth as your daughter in due course and purify you from this curse’. Satisfied by this assurance Nandini emerged as a river from Kanakagiri on the day of Magha Shuddha Poornima and made the earth green and fertile once again.

Meanwhile Arunasura acquired a boon from Brahma, which made him free from fear of death by Trinity, Devas, men or women or by any two-legged or four-legged animals and creatures. Goddess Saraswati also blessed him with Gayathri Mantra (holy chants). All these boons made him the most powerful person. He defeated the Devatas and conquered heaven. Disheartened by the disastrous defeat, the Devatas, along with Trinity pleaded with Adhishakti for the rescue. Goddess said that unless and until Arunasura is prevented from reciting Gayathri Mantra she too would not be able to destroy him. She suggested them to send Brihaspathi (Guru of Devatas) to distract Arunasura from his meditation of Gayathri Mantra, and make him get rid of Gayathri recitation so that she would be able to kill him. Brihaspathi approached Arunasura, flattered him, poisoned his ears and succeeded in diverting him from his meditation. Now Arunasura vainly felt that he was more than God himself. He not only ordered his subjects to worship him but also troubled the sages and spoiled their Yajnas. As promised to the Devas, Goddess took the shape of Mohini, a charming woman and began to wander in the garden of Arunasura. Chanda and Prachanda, ministers of Arunasura saw her and informed the master about her beauty. Arunasura decided to marry her and approached her. When she turned deaf ears to his request and teased him for fleeing from the battle-field, afraid of the lady who killed his masters Shumbha and Nishumbha, he became furious. When he tried to take her by storm, she disappeared inside a rock. Arunasura broke the rock with his sword. Suddenly, a vast swarm of bees emerged from the rock and stung him. Devi had taken the form of a big, furious bee that is 'Bhramara' and stung him repeatedly till his last breath. Now the Devas and the sages led by Jabali performed ‘Abhishekham’ (holy bath) to Devi with tender coconut brought from the Kalpavriksha of Devaloka, and prayed to her to bless the world with 'Soumya Roopa' (tender posture). According to this request Devi emerged in the form of 'Linga' (symbolic holy rock) in the middle of the river Nandini and is known as Shree Durga Parameshwari. ‘Kati’ means waist and ‘ila’ means earth. So Kateel stands for that area of the earth, which is the Kati, or the centre of the river Nandini. The Nandini is purified by the birth of Adhishakti in her ‘Kati’ and Durga Parameshwari is here for the good of the universe and blesses those who come to her.



Yakshagaana,
The temple's trust also encourages several forms of arts. Notable among them is the Yakshagaana, Dashavathara Mela which was started as an offering to the goddess. Yakshagaana is a traditional theatre form combining dance, music, spoken word, dramatic costumes, makeup, and stage technique with a distinct style and form of mythological story-telling. Both the word Yakshagaana and its world are both interesting and intriguing. It is a theatre form mainly prevalent in the coastal districts and adjacent areas, in Karnataka. Yakshagaana is one of the most lively art traditions in the world. There are about five full fledged troupes in Kateel. They go on tour between November to May, performing Seva shows as Parake of devotees. Usually the show starts from 9 pm and goes on till 6am in the morning.

Annadaana
Annadaana makes Shree Kshethra specially identified to be the realm of God. Every day about 2000 people get Prasada Bhojan which exceeds 4000 on Fridays. During the other festivals and Navaraathri, on Fridays of Simhamaasa, more than 8000 devotees get Shree Devi's Bhojan Prasadam. Except on Ekaadashi, on all other days at noon and at night free meals are served to the devotees after the Mahapooja. Except on holidays all the students of the institutions (more than 1500) run by the trust, are provided with free meals since the last 15 years.

Also read:   *Bappanadu Durga Parameshwari Temple





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Ancient caves:
In the western suburb of Mumbai, on the outskirts, are the Kanheri caves, which date back to more than 2,000 years. The caves – 140 in total are in good condition, all carved out of a single black rock, contain many ancient Buddhist sculptures, carvings, paintings and inscriptions dating from 1st century BCE to 10 th century CE.

The Kanheri Caves are a group of rock-cut monuments formed from a massive basalt rock in the forests of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park on the western outskirts of Mumbai. They contain Buddhist sculptures and relief carvings, paintings and inscriptions. Kanheri comes from the Sanskrit name, Krishnagiri, which means, black mountain. Each cave has a stone plinth that functioned as a bed. A congregation hall with huge stone pillars contains a stupa (a Buddhist shrine). Rock-cut channels above the caves fed rainwater into cisterns, which provided the complex with water. Once the caves were converted to permanent monasteries, their walls were carved with intricate reliefs of Buddha and the Bodhisattvas. Kanheri had become an important Buddhist settlement on the Konkan coast by the 3rd century CE. Most of the caves were used as the Buddhist viharas, meant for living, studying and meditating. The larger caves, functioned as chaitvas, or halls for congregational worship. The Avalokiteshwara is the most distinctive figure.

Pak spy accuses his agency of protecting terrorists:
A Pak intelligence officer has accused his own spy agency of protecting terrorists and filed a petition in a court requesting for a thorough probe in the matter. Malik Muktar Ahmed Shahzad, a serving assistant sub-inspector of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) has accused his senior officers of not taking action against terrorist suspects. These terrorists used to disguise themselves as citrus dealers in Kot-Monuin and Bhalwal, Sargodha. The business was a mere camouflage.
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Bharata, My Brother
by Anil Kumar Naik

- Foreword by Shri Asaranna Swami,
Durga Parmeshwari temple, Kateel, Karnataka.

Price: Rs 200 + P&F Rs 50

(NB: P & F chrgs for India)




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Picture Post:
Konkan region on the west coast
 of Maharastra, India
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